Medical Records Tossed Into Dumpster

October 01 , 2009 in Industry News

Records found in dumpster

(Greece, N.Y.) – Records found at a Greece apartment dumpster could have led to the identify theft of hundreds of people, if not for the actions of one woman.

Something about a rusted Ford pickup caught Wendy Tascione’s attention. She snapped a few photos while she watched…nine file boxes of full of personnel files were tossed into a dumpster.

”I thought, ‘Holy crow! This is somebody’s information!” Wendy said. “There are just some things that I know that aren’t right, and that was one of them.”

The records appear to be personnel files from the Fasco Machine Company once located on Union Street There are payroll and banking records for each employee, including hundreds of social security numbers.

Fasco closed in 1975, so the documents were kept in storage somewhere. Yet whoever disposed of them is required to follow current laws to protect personal information. In New York that means the documents must be shredded or destroyed.

“This is prime material for someone who wants to steal an identity,” Wendy said. “Everything is there that you need to know to become that person.

Surprisingly, there are also extensive and personal medical records, including x-rays, which are subject to privacy laws.

13 WHAM news contacted Greece Police, who confiscated the documents late Friday. They’ll use the license numbers to identify those responsible.

Because some records date back to the 50’s, 60s and 70s, no one knows how many of the people affected are still living.

Those responsible face fines of up to $5,000 for each surviving person involved.